From a very young age we’re conditioned to base our perception of ourselves from the career up. We play games featuring Mr. Bun The Baker or Mr. The Tailor and wonder why society defines us in terms of our careers. We’re programmed to set our sights on a particular career in our youth loosely dependent on our skills, aptitudes and passions. But this is before we really get a working knowledge of what it’s really like to work in these industries. Knowing what career you want to dedicate yourself to can be immensely fulfilling and rewarding but it can also be an enormous cross to bear. Many people are raring to go when they start their career in their early twenties but by the time they hit their thirties, they can find themselves despising the career they worked so hard to get into. You can either resign yourself to being stuck where you are or you can resolve to do something about it.
If it’s not only your job but your career that’s driving you crazy, there are a number of ways in which you can deal with it. Some may be more extreme than others but they will help you to either change your perspective on your current career or help you to transition to something more rewarding…
Relocate for a change of pace
Sometimes it’s difficult to extricate the trappings of a job and a career from the career itself. It’s possible that your career may still be enjoyable and rewarding for you but the local scene simply isn’t for you. For example, many are drawn to London at the start of their careers. They perceive it as the land of opportunity and it has the most jobs per capita in the country. However, the increasingly ludicrous cost of living and punishing commutes soon get too much and it can make you want to reconsider your entire career. However, doing the same job somewhere else may be much more satisfying. Glasgow can provide a great deal of career opportunities while offering similarly great amenities to London. Likewise, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester are all thriving hubs of industry. Many former Londoners have even found more career opportunities along with a more laid back lifestyle in Cardiff.
Reduce your hours
Sometimes just a little balance is all we need to get much more enjoyment and fulfilment out of our careers. If you feel like every day is a struggle and that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, perhaps reducing your hours could help you to put a more positive spin on your career.
Or… Take your skills to the freelance market
If you still can’t abide your career but are proud of the skills you have gleaned in your career journey, perhaps you would find more fulfilment using them to start a new business or as a freelancer. While you will sacrifice sick pay, holiday pay and job security you will gain more freedom, more chance to achieve work / life balance on your own terms. Here are some tips to help you get started.
If your career is driving you crazy, it’s up to you to create an off ramp.